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With three years of experience as a network admin in the financial services industry, what should my

I have five years of experience in the financial industry, three of which have been spent as a network ddmin. I have A+, Net+ and have my MCP cert in Windows 2000 Desktop and Windows 2000 Server. What further education will benefit me most: A degree in CS/CIS or pursuing more certifications? My ultimate goal is to work my way into a management/CFO position.

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If you are heading for the executive suite, and aim ultimately at upper management or a financial officer role, IT certifications really won't help you get there very much. In fact, a degree in CS or CIS really won't help that much either, unless you'd also consider a CIO role instead of CFO. For the CFO job, and for the executive suite in general, a bachelor's degree from a good school, preferably in business or something technical, followed by an MBA from another good school (where you could focus on finance to pursue the CFO goal, or on IT/MIS to pursue the CIO role, if relevant and interesting) is really what will do you the most good. Sticking to a technical job with your nose to that grindstone is generally not the best way to work yourself into upper ranks of management.

This was first published in January 2005

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